Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pie Night

You don't know a sugar high until you know Pie Night.

John and I first lived together in a rented home in Altadena, where we got married in the back yard. We lived there, across the street from our friends the Schwartz family, for a year and a half before we bought our Van Nuys house and moved away. By the time we moved back to the Pasadena area two years later, Pie Night at the Schwartz home had become an annual fall event. It's casual. Just come--and bring a pie.

Last night it was cold and blustery outside. It's full-on autumn here. Just right for our third Pie Night.

The Schwartzes have been around here for about ten years. Michael's a frisbee artist and JPL scientist (oh I know, isn't everybody?) and Susan's the Executive Director of P.E.N, the Pasadena Education Network. Natalie Rose is a budding ballerina/actress and Molly's not sure about future plans yet, but she can swing from a tree on her rope swing about nineteen different ways.

The guy in the picture is named Dave. He was gonna get him some pie. I got me some, too, let me tell you. Several varieties. And homemade cre-->me brulee.

Took a while to come down.

34 comments:

dina said...

Oh, love this shot!
And it reminds me of an old young friend at Heifer Ranch and lots of potlucks there. Oi oi, why don't we have pies in Israel?
Enjoy your new season.

Saretta said...

Wow...that cherry pie looks delicious! I love food traditions, especially when they bring friends together.

BTW, they donìt make pies in Italy...well, except at my house!

altadenahiker said...

It was cold in tham thar hills last night, t'weren't it? I think pie night is a charming idea, as is the photo.

ben wideman said...

mmmm... pie!

Virginia said...

What a great shot. Gimme a piece of dat pie! Let me guess, are you all originally from the midwest? Best darn pie bakers in the world come from there. My former mother in law could make one in her sleep. Me? no talent. Lemon icebox pie is as good as I get.

Vanda said...

I make a mean apple-cranberry pie. It's perfect for all the fall holidays. :)

Is pie an American invention? We over there in the old country didn't have anything like it. When I read Kerouac's On the Road in Hungarian translation, they translated it into something else. He had a bit about how as he was getting further south the bigger the ice cream scoop in his pie got in the roadside diners.

Laurie said...

Petrea, this is absolutely my favorite all time shot of yours. What a great capture -- and what a great idea. PIE NIGHT!?!?!? It should become a national holiday!

Susan C said...

Yum! Some chicken pot pie would have been especially welcome last night.

Petrea said...

You could bring a new tradition to Israel, Dina. Why not? Saretta's already bringing it to Italy.

It was cold, AH. I remember how we used to listen to an owl in the tree next to our yard. I miss that.

Ben: Enough even for Homer Simpson.

Virginia, Lemon icebox pie sounds good to me. Oh, and apple-cranberry, Vanda! Yes!

I don't know if pie is American. We say "As American as apple pie," but that's just a saying.

Laurie, thanks for the compliment! I fiddled with the settings and it's not technically perfect, but there was Dave and who needs technique when you have the perfect model?

Susan C, you're so right. At our first pie night, someone brought a savory pie and it was just the thing. So last year I brought two chicken pies. This year I didn't have time to bake and had to bring a bakery tart. It was sugar city. Somehow, we all managed to have fun anyway.

Susan Schwartz told me it all started because of the (massive) pumpkins in her garden. They had a few neighbors over for pumpkin pie, and after that it became an annual event.

Ted Thompson said...

I LIKE PIE!!!!!

*regains composure*

This shot has a great autumnal "home, hearth, friends and family" feel. It seems even more comforting in these times.

In fact THIS shot to me evokes the kind of sentiments that you expressed with your entry where you spoke of taking stock in what we have in these financially troubled times. As I recall, that entry featured a photo of a backyard garden a table set with wine and cheese (I think...).

Bernie K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bernie K. said...

Yow. I'm reasonably sure pies go back a few years—like, maybe, 100,000 … who knows what happened to the Neanderthals? We didn't just run 'em all off a cliff—or if we did, we clambered down to the valley floor afterward and, um, cleaned up. Hash was made, we know, of Roman frontliners by the Ostragoths. And not all the coffins buried outside the London City Wall were, ahem, full-sized. (There's a thin red line between a demon barber and an irritable chef.) Still, I’ll take a rhubarb pie over the more (un)savory alternative, at least until Hallowe’en. That’s my sugar-peak of the year.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

What is a Frisbee artist? Does he paint Frisbees? make Frisbees? Does he use Frisbees as pie plates?

From de Cafe said...

Pie Night? That's sounds so nice & civilized.

But, the reality looks more like y'alll r havin a pie-eatin contest! You know with a bunch of pies, one for each person in attendance, and at the count of 3, you humans all stuff your faces into the gooey sugar substance, letting your true self's show.

And, don't try to call this getting ready for Halloween. Artistic? Yeah, you could get away with that term.

At least you people have learned one thing from us dogs.

Sharon said...

It turned into fall here this weekend too! Very chilly especially up in the mountains where I spent the weekend. Brrrr...I wasn't prepared. Pie Night sounds like an excellent idea and I see some yummy looking pies in this picture.

Knoxville Girl said...

Got a strong cuppa joe to go with that cherry pie? I'm harking back to Twin Peaks territory.
Heck, we should have Pie WEEK!

keith said...

Never met a pie I didn't like. Good idea and good photo!

USelaine said...

Those of you who are citizens of the CDP portal, it looks like Circles and Spheres could be our next theme, unless, or if, you all vote. That could include pi or pie...

I made a Queen Anne cherry pie in Hungary, from fresh fruit I pitted by hand. I used their coarse grained sugar as a glittering finish on the top crust, and it worked marvelously, if I do say so myself. 6^) The first and last one I ever did.

marley said...

This has got to be the best idea ever! Get me some pie! I hope Dave isn't drooling on them :)

Christie said...

That is a great idea!! I'll have to try that and "get me some pie"!! Glad you had a great time, even with the sugar high.

elizabeth said...

Oh wow, yeah, PIE. My mom's from Idaho, and she gives the midwesterners a run for their money.

The hardest decision around thanksgiving in our house is "what kinds of pie should we have for dessert?"

My favorites are apple, pumpkin, and pecan. Also fresh sour cherry.

I need to call up my mom right now!

Kris said...

Do you ever have meat pies on a pie night?

Miss Havisham said...

Brilliant!

Pie is always wonderful and no can take that away or repossess the experience. It can be had for a song.

Ms M said...

Fun photo! He looks like he's planning a strategy for the supreme pie attack. That's a nice custom, having a pie night and neighborhood get-together.

Dave Knight, Pasadena Realtor said...

Glad to see the picture on your blog Patrea! Yes, I left with a sugar high and an upset stomach but it was well worth it. I have to admit... the creme brulee was my favorite by far! Great to see you again!

lynn said...

Ooooooh goodness this looks delicious. Is that cherry pie there? I'll have some of that, please. What a good idea, a pie night. Is it all sweet or are there savoury pies too?

Petrea said...

I was hoping Pasadenaadjacent would ask: no, I just meant he's a great Frisbee player and he has artistic technique on the field.

Looks like the Schwartzes have begun an autumn tradition that might spread around the world. Everyone seems to like the idea of Pie Night. Yes, savory pies are quite welcome. There weren't any this year, but see my previous comment--there have been savory/meat pies in previous years. (Savoury--thanks Lynn, that's better.) With all that sugar they're a welcome change of taste.

Hey Dave! The star of our show. Thanks for visiting, stop by again!

Therese said...

It should have been the picture for the Zen Monday!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Petrea for helping spread the good word. Pie. I am sorry that you missed the savo(u)ry pies. They were on the cedar chest.

Petrea said...

Susan, I know that's you in your anonymous form. I'm sorry I missed them, too. (Well, not that sorry. I had plenty of good, sweet pie.) But there's the answer to the big question. The savo(u)ry pies were there indeed!

I believe the tradition of Pie Night is spreading across the globe as we speak. You've started something worldwide and tasty.

Bernie K. said...

Tickets to the first competition will be pro crustean bargains.

Petrea said...

I thought there was plenty of variety.

Anonymous said...

Necessity is mother of invention. (Mater atrium necessitas).

Petrea said...

Sure. But does anyone really need pie?